Payne’s perfect fit as Crocs celebrate Indigenous Round


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Grant Payne (centre) with fellow Port Douglas footballers (L-R) Josh Donnelly-Hart, Mathew Medcraft, Davinder Hart and Jimmy Astil sporting the Indigenous Round strips. All will celebrate their aboriginal heritage with pride tomorrow at the Croc Pit. IMAGE: Newsport.

FOR local footballer Grant Payne, it has simply ‘come up alright’.

For the rest of the Port Douglas community and his teammates, his jumper design for the AFL Cairns Indigenous Round could just be the best in the country.

As Australia’s biggest clubs roll out specially printed designs in celebration of the traditional owners of our land - such as the Essendon and Richmond Dreamtime at the ‘G’ clash - Payne’s contemporary take on an ancient culture will be out for all to see tomorrow when the Rattle N Hum Crocs do battle with Manunda.

Payne, a talented indigenous artist and painter, said the finished product was actually one of his ‘rough sketches’.

“It’s a contemporary style, I am by no means saying it’s traditional,” he said.

“It started as an idea and I just kept building and building on it.

“It has come up alright.”

That is an understatement. Payne hopes to bring his indigenous grandparents, Marina and Morgan Allan, to the Port Douglas Sporting Complex tomorrow to get a first hand look at his work.

The front of the jersey indicates a trail of a crocodile, while the Kuku Yalanji people of Mossman and the Daintree are represented on the back.

“Port Douglas is not really claimed by any indigenous clan so I thought it was important to bring Mossman and the Daintree into the design,” he explains.

“The back signifies the spine of a crocodile with its scales and spikes. Crocodiles are such a huge part of the environment in our region and our club.” 

The senior match will be preluded by a special Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony tomorrow.

With Port Douglas Carnivale in full swing, a huge crowd is expected at the Croc Pit as Brad Cooper’s top-of-the-table Crocs take on the fourth placed Hawks.

The undefeated Port won a thriller last week against Centrals Trinity Beach but run into a red-hot Manunda fresh off a 54-point thumping of South Cairns.

Livewire forward Ezekiel Frank booted eight goals and is one name certain to be causing some heartburn at match committee. At 195cm, the young indigenous talent looms as a difficult match-up for Port Douglas. And on the day the competition celebrates his people he’d be keen to put on a show.

* The senior match will start at the earlier time of 2pm tomorrow due to Port Douglas Carnivale

Saturday 27 May, 2pm
Port Douglas v Manunda
Port Douglas Sporting Complex


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